ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
-A A +A

Ethnicity, Class and State in Pakistan

Feroz Ahmed The current ethnic tensions in Pakistan are rooted in a number of developments: the increasing ethnic heterogeneity of the country's provinces, the growing economic and political interdependence, and the ongoing processes of cultural homogenisation as well as the rapid urbanisation, and the sharpening ethnic asymmetries within Pakistan's elite. These very developments, however, offer the opportunity for seeking solutions in a multi-ethnic framework IN the era of globalisation of technology, capital, markets, and communications, a centrifugal phenomenon described by Isaacs more than 20 years ago as 'massive retiibalisation' of the world, is proceeding on an ever wider scale [Isaacs 1975]. Ethnic, religious, andcaste conflicts are tearing apart not only the former Soviet republics and eastern Europe, but many third world countries too. Pakistan, is one such country which is witnessing one of the most serious ethnic conflicts of its history. In 1995 alone, more than 1,700 persons, including more than 200 law enforcement personnel, were killed in its major city, Karachi (Yasser Hossain, 'Whodunnit?' in Newsline, November 1995) A militant ethnic party, the Mohajir Quomi Movement (MQM), is in violent confrontation with the government. Ethnic polarisation in the province of Sindh is almost complete and in Balochistan it has shattered the traditional fraternity between ethnic groups.

Subscribers please login to access full text of the article.

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

826for India

$50for overseas users

Get instant access to the complete EPW archives

Subscribe now


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top